Things to Read - Book Reviews from a 4th Grader
For F's birthday (yes, WAY back in October) she saved up a ton of gift cards for a Barnes & Noble shopping spree.
For the last five months, I've asked her to review the books she read, but sometimes it takes awhile to get a post together. So we've been gradually working on this over the winter. Luckily, finally, I have some great book recommendations from my fabulous 10 year old! Just in time for spring!
F's book reviews:
1. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Like many books full of wonderful adventures and incredible tales, this book started off a little boring. But after the first chapter, I could not put it down. It is a story of several kids, all orphans, who have just joined a mysterious society, and they must go undercover in order to stop the evil villain who is terrorizing the world without the victims even knowing it. With many twists and turns and ups and downs, this book will want to make you laugh, cry, and maybe even do a little sneaking around yourself. Four and one half stars, kids 8-13.
2. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Unfortunately, this tale has not yet been explored. Come again for a review!
3. Bud Not Buddy - This award-winning book gets straight to the point, no patience required. (Which is good, if you are like me.) Bud, Not Buddy tells the wonderful, realistic story of a boy named Bud who has lost his mother and has no idea where his dad is. Taking place during the civil rights movement of the 1960's, Bud is looking for his Dad with some clues his mom has left behind, which takes him to all sorts of exciting and new places. If you liked this, there is also a book about one of the friends Bud meets on the way home: Malone. The follow-up is called "The Mighty Miss Malone", and although I have not read it myself, I want to soon. With a wonderful tale and many adventures, the only thing I would change is the ending, which I thought could have been a bit more satisfying, but does not make a dent in this book's awesomeness. Four stars, kids 9-15.
4. Big Nate in the Zone - Okay, all you adults, I know Big Nate does not qualify as "real literature", but this book just can NOT be beat. Big Nate, the eternal sixth-grader, is my all-time FAVORITE comic. All the books are so funny, and they make me laugh a little every time. This book is no different. With a single lucky action-figure plastic foot, he turns his life around. But how long will it last? For kids of all ages, this five-star book is "in the zone"!
5. Counting by 7s - This book follows the adventures of Willow, who is an only adopted child and loves plants. But when her parents both die and she has no other family members to go to, she ends up living with someone she just met. With the help of the friendly girl Willow has recently come across, that friend's mother, a lazy school counselor, and a taxi cab driver who is turning his life around, Willow finds home in places she never thought she would. It is an incredible story, four and one half stars out of five. This book will make you feel sorry for Willow, thankful for her Mother, and annoyed at the World's Worst Counselor. For kids 8-13.
6. When You Reach Me - This book reminded me of A Wrinkle in Time. They are both Newbery Medal winning books, and they both have time travel as a big part of the story. The main character lives with her mom in a low-class apartment building in New York City. She is currently having troubles with her best friend, and she is worrying he does not like her anymore. Meanwhile, her mom has just been selected for a TV show where she could either win big and take home 20,000 dollars or come back with nothing. The main character is struggling to fit in without her best friend beside her, and the mysterious laughing man who lives under the mailbox on the corner just gets weirder every day. Four stars, kids 10-15.
7. Goodbye Stranger - Goodbye Stranger is an incredible book. It explores the excitement of growing up, and how bullying comes in different forms, and for different reasons. With shifting points of view, it all comes together. As wonderful as this book is, I would not recommend it for children under the age of nine. I don't remember all of it, but I do remember the feminist, the girl who almost died, and Emily, the soccer player who is going through puberty. There is also an unnamed high-school girl who struggles with a betrayal, who the author finally reveals at the end of the story. For ages 9-19, this book will take you an an eye-opening, tear jerking, and very entertaining roller-coaster ride. 5 out of 5 stars!!!!!
8. Kitchen Science Lab for Kids - I have not explored this book yet.
9. Omnivore's Dilemma: Young Reader's Edition - Also has not been read. [Note from Darcy - I bought this for F and offered her a $10 bribe to read it, but it's still on the bookshelf. Maybe one day?]
10. I Am Your Songwriting Journal - It is a journal that helps you write songs. Need I say more?